Saturday, March 03, 2007

Where Matterdays grew up

I had mentioned in a previous post that I was going to look through some pictures, both old and not so old, of my hometown.

This is the house we lived in when I was born - 921 Ventura Drive. My parents both grew up in Oak Park, just west of Chicago, and lived in my Dad's house in Westchester until 1964. They decided to move a little farther from the city, and Palatine was a just-developing suburb at the time - still a small farm town. The new subdivisions were surrounded by farms and horse trails. It's quite a bit different now.

We moved to this house, 471 Warwick Road (just a few blocks away), when I was eleven months old - it's the only home I knew growing up. My middle brother still lives there while we figure out what to do with it, since my Dad passed away in October 2005.

This is the "cut-through" about two blocks from the house, which leads to the bike trail and is the way I walked or rode my bike to elementary school and high school.

Willow Wood Park, just a few blocks in the other direction, where we would go play from time to time. There's a big soccer field and baseball diamond behind the trees, and a swimming pool that I've never been to (my parents didn't think they needed to spend the money on a community park pass, so we only went swimming when we went to our lake house in northwest Illinois at Apple Canyon Lake).

(The Lake House)

Palatine High School, home of the Pirates. This school had more students than the college I went to. It's right next to the elementary school I attended.

I was a member of the Marching Pirates (Drum Major my senior year); this picture is from my junior year - yeah, just TRY and find me:

A couple of pics of the 'hood:

There wasn't much of a "downtown" area - it never really grew, so in typical suburban fashion all of the stores were in strip malls. But here's the train that connected us to Chicago and the rest of the northwest suburbs:

I never realized how nice my home and neighborhood and hometown were until I went away to college. Even now everytime I visit, I'm amazed by how fortunate I was, and how HUGE our house was!

That's all the pictures for this post. I found a few pics of my Dad while I was looking for these, but that will be its' own post.


Lewis said...

I am totally loving the history lesson.....I'm all about old pictures, stories, history, behind-the-scenes stuff....
thanks so much for sharing!

jo said...

I could have sworn the lake house was in a mass of woods. Maybe that was when your folks just bought the property. I do remember going on a boat for a sales tour around the lake with my dad.

Wow, I remember both the houses. I remember staying overnight once at the first house. Your dad had a big reel to reel tape player and I was on the floor with your brother Dave. Your dad was trying to tape record us, but I wouldn't say anything.

I remember Beth going to babysit you guys at the second house. That's the house I remember the Christmas tree in, the one with all the tinsel!

Matt said...

Jo, there were tons of trees by the house - but the lot it was on had been cleared out. At the base of the lot, and everywhere else, it was compltetly wooded. So you're right!

I think that reel-to-reel tape recorder is still at the house. Pretty much everything from throughout our lives is still there. I still remember the smell of the slide projector and screen that we used to put up (yes, they had a smell) ... some of the slides were of a trip my parents (and my brother Dave) took out here to Seattle in 1962. Dave learned to stand up on that trip in the back of the old station wagon. Mom and Dad considered moving out here (they had pictures of a house they were looking at) and Dad was going to be a salmon fisherman instead of a structural engineer! I could have grown up very differently!

Paul said...

I too face the reality that I'll never again live the lifestyle I did as a child.

I try not to be sad about it.

CondoBlogger said...

Cool pics! I went back to one of the houses I grew up in in Southern California several years ago... it had been completely remodeled... After the Northridge Earthquake I think. It was almost unrecognizeable, but my bedroom window was still in the same spot.

kyle said...

this was really cool! what a fun way to see a bit of history.